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A musician with long blue hair jumps up and down while headbanging. The lead singer screams into the microphone.
This was the first year for Battle of the Bands at St. Thomas University’s Welcome Week. Although most Welcome Week activities are geared towards first-year students, a lot of older students came out to support their friends.
The audience responded enthusiastically when the first band played “What I Got,” by Sublime.
STU student, Santiago Chavez, thought the Battle of the Bands was a great idea.
“It gives artistic students a way to share their passions and abilities. The turnout speaks for itself. I guess it drew a big crowd. That’s the spirit of Welcome Week.”
Approximately 100 people came out to the show.
Meryn Steeves, Welcome Week chair, said the committee decided to have the Battle of the Bands in place of the usual concert. The concert rarely had a good turnout. She said the turnout for this event was about the same as previous years’ concerts.
“By this point in Welcome Week everyone is tired and classes have started… We are hoping by moving the concert to mid-October there will be a better turnout,” Steeves said.
However, it wasn’t hard to find bands to perform. Five different bands performed a short set of five songs each. The bands ranged from soft rock to screamo.
There was a mix of male and female musicians, intense drummers and some skilled bass players. The lead singers had strong and raspy voices. You could say there was something for everyone.
Zach Greer is the guitarist for Red Heron and a second-year student at STU. This was the first time he played with Red Heron at STU.
“Obviously there is a lot of talent here at STU and we should do a lot more stuff here like this. It would put musicians and artists on the radar for more opportunities,” Greer said.
Greer said the only issue was the set-up time between bands. Next year he suggested there should be the same gear for everybody, so it wouldn’t take as long for each band to get ready.
Redwood Fields won the Battle of the Bands. They received $1,000 and will be the opening act for a concert in October, put on by the Students’ Union.
Cedric Noel sings lead for Redwood Fields and is a fourth-year Journalism student.
“Right now we’re not sure, but most probably recording and/or touring,” Noel said, when asked what they planned to do with the money.
He said they were pleased to win, because all the bands had a good shot at taking home the prize.
Redwood Fields is also nominated for a Galaxie Rising Star Award.